Knowing what kind of headache you have matters.
Different headaches respond to different treatments.
The first question that we try to answer for you is “Do I have a primary or a secondary headache?”
Secondary headaches are headaches that are caused by other disease processes, some relatively minor (dehydration, sinus infection, ear infection, flu); some quite serious (encephalitis, aneurysm, stroke). Your health care provider would need to evaluate your symptoms and examine you in person to rule out more serious ailments. Further evaluations may be necessary including CT, MRI scans as well as discussions of your symptoms, your lifestyle, and other aspects of your medical and psychological history that could be causing or worsening your headaches.
Primary headaches are headaches where the major illness is the headache. For some reason, there is overstimulation of the pain-sensitive structures in your head.
- Cluster Headaches (can involve any part of the head, usually consists of sharp, stabbing pain, can be debilitating)
- Migraine Headaches (typically starts as a dull pain, but then worsens, can involve any part of the head, often includes light sensitivity and nausea)
- Tension Headaches (typically a dull ache or pain, most often in the front of the head)
Primary headaches can be caused or exacerbated by the following:
- Poor or insufficient sleep
- Insufficient hydration
- Eating certain trigger foods
- Alcohol use or abuse
- Extended periods of discomfort, including poor positioning, strain, excessive work or exercise
- Changes in hormonal levels in women
Primary headaches can be treated with over the counter medications, a variety of prescription medications, biofeedback, physical therapy, complementary medicine, and relaxation techniques. Many of or patients find relief from the variety of treatment modalities that we offer in one setting, whether it is physical therapy, psychological support or various prescription or over-the-counter medications.
In order to get relief from your headache, it is critical to narrow down the type of headache you are experiencing and then determine the proper course of action.
Headaches can be complex to diagnose and complex to treat. We work in partnership with you to help you find real solutions and real relief.